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water changes!


ltzryder21

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ltzryder21

I have a 29g as you can see in my sig, and am wondering how often I should be doing water changes and how many gallons. I have some corals, snails, pep shrimp, and a clown. The LFS said every two weeks and two gallons. What do you think? Also, there are plenty of LFS's that sell salt water already mixed and treated for around .30-.40 cents/gallon. Do you recommend buying salt water or mixing myself? And if I do mix myself, is there anything I need to add to the water? I use a little Nitromax marine when adding fish and doing water changes right now!

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DementedLullaby

Hm on a 29g I would change 5 gallons weekly. Some people go by biweekly but yeah...I wouldn't. On my 10g I change 2 1/2g weekly..Most readings I've seen have said between 15-20% is a good weekly change so just I try to stick to that :). More water changes won't really hurt as long as everything is matched though I suppose. Water changes are good for redosing stuff that corals and inverts use.

 

I don't have a bigger tank yet. But I hope this helps. Please anyone feel free to correct me. I want to learn more as well :)

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You'll get a variety of recommendations from 10% every two weeks to 100% every week. 2 gallons every two weeks on a 29 gallon seems to fall a bit short, that's not even 10%. It's even more inadequate considering you don't appear to be running a skimmer. Water is relatively cheap when you've got a small tank. I would do 25% weekly or more. You'll be happy when you do larger water changes, it exports all the excess nutrients and replaces trace elements.

 

As far as whether to mix yourself or get store bought, that's entirely up to you. There's no pro or con as far as I can see beyond figuring out which is cheapest.

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i'd suggest you mix yourself. you'll know for sure the water and salt quality that's going in your tank.

 

also, if you ever need to do an emergency change, you can do it quickly. often i see "i've got an emergency but the lfs where i buy my pre-mixed water is closed! help!". doing it yourself usually allows you to make more whenever you need it (assuming you have pure water available, distilled, RO, RO/DI).

 

i also don't like to lug things around. buying premade sw forces trips to and from the lfs. i would think it gets tedious, although it's a good excuse to visit the lfs, i guess.

 

10% tank volume per week is usually what i recommend. like the others mentioned, you will get suggestions that range all over the place. the frequency is really up to you and how your livestock responds. hth

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DementedLullaby

Woah? LFS's sell pre-mixed water? I know a LFS that sells RO but I've never heard of pre mixed until now...

 

I've mixed myself since my brackish days. God I was confused when I first started :lol:

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Woah? LFS's sell pre-mixed water? I know a LFS that sells RO but I've never heard of pre mixed until now...

 

I've mixed myself since my brackish days. God I was confused when I first started :lol:

All the LFS's in this area sell pre-mixed SW. It's also $1.00 a gal. That's why I mix my own. I figure it costs me .65 per gal DIY. If I could find it for the .30 - .40 posted I'd just buy it. Of course I'd make sure they were using RO/DI for it though.

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ReefApprentice

My LFS sells RO/DI IO Mix water for 69 cents a gallon. I hate lugging 3 5 gallon buckets to and fro from the store. I have to look into RO/DI units, but would rather buy corals. Sigh....

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One Eyed Bunny

I've always had a rule of thumb for water changes such that:

 

If you're running a protein skimmer you only need a 10% bi-weekly water change.

 

If you're not running a protein skimmer you need a 10 - 15% water change weekly. 15% if your nitrates are above 5ppm and 10% if they're below 5ppm.

 

As for the salt mix or pre-mixed water. Go do-it-yourself. It's cheaper, and you'll know exactly what you're getting in relation to specific gravity. A sudden shift in specific gravity from 1.023 to 1.020 can ruin a tank, as can a sudden rise in specific gravity to 1.026 from 1.023.

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Schwazreef

life is full of opportunity costs, and IMO if you're really gonna reef, or even nano-reef for that matter, its gonna be in your best interest long term to purify and mix your own saltwater

 

My own decision to do this marked a turning point in the health of my reef. Plus Im the type of guy that want to run as few errands as possible, even if they are to the fish store.

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ltzryder21
I've always had a rule of thumb for water changes such that:

 

If you're running a protein skimmer you only need a 10% bi-weekly water change.

 

If you're not running a protein skimmer you need a 10 - 15% water change weekly. 15% if your nitrates are above 5ppm and 10% if they're below 5ppm.

 

As for the salt mix or pre-mixed water. Go do-it-yourself. It's cheaper, and you'll know exactly what you're getting in relation to specific gravity. A sudden shift in specific gravity from 1.023 to 1.020 can ruin a tank, as can a sudden rise in specific gravity to 1.026 from 1.023.

 

Well it's not cheaper to mix it yourself. It comes out to about $1/g as at the lfs it is $.35/g. But you say it's healthier for the reef and fish! What is RO water? Is it just regular drinking water. Purified of course. Like what they sell at Albertsons, walmart, etc.? Going with 15% weekly! Any additives in the water I need to add???

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One Eyed Bunny

RO is reverse osmosis water. This is passing water through a super-fine semi-permiable membrane which removes most dissolved salts. (ex. chlorine, sodium, calcium carbonate, & calcium sulfate, etc...) This along with deionization allows for nearly 99.9% pure water which means your fish get only what is dissolved from your salts and that you don't have any "bad" minerals and chemicals in your aquarium unless you put them there.

 

It's a safety net.

 

Yes, it is similar to what sells in Walmart and other wholesalers, however, they may not go through the same RO/DI systems and also may be distilled. Distilled water is typically run through copper piping. Copper is bad.

 

RO/DI water is perfectly safe to drink.

 

Any other questions?

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ltzryder21
RO is reverse osmosis water. This is passing water through a super-fine semi-permiable membrane which removes most dissolved salts. (ex. chlorine, sodium, calcium carbonate, & calcium sulfate, etc...) This along with deionization allows for nearly 99.9% pure water which means your fish get only what is dissolved from your salts and that you don't have any "bad" minerals and chemicals in your aquarium unless you put them there.

 

It's a safety net.

 

Yes, it is similar to what sells in Walmart and other wholesalers, however, they may not go through the same RO/DI systems and also may be distilled. Distilled water is typically run through copper piping. Copper is bad.

 

RO/DI water is perfectly safe to drink.

 

Any other questions?

 

I'm using "drinking water" bought at walmart. Different than distilled water. It is sodium free. I added a little bit of "start right" to get rid of any chlorine that might be in the water. Also added some "nitromax marine" and Iodine.

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